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Eric D. Larson

Research Engineer

Princeton Environmental Institute
Guyot Hall, Washington Road
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544
Phone:  (609) 258-4966 
Fax: (609) 258-7715

Abbreviated CV

Larson is a senior member of the Energy Systems Analysis Group at the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) at Princeton University and (since 2004) an affiliated faculty in the University’s Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Larson also spends some time with Climate Central (, a non-profit, non-partisan science and media organization created to provide clear and objective science-based information to diverse audiences about climate change and its potential solutions.
Larson’s research interests include engineering, economic, and policy-related assessments of advanced clean-energy systems, especially for electric power and transport fuels production from carbonaceous fuels (biomass, coal, natural gas) and for efficient end use of energy. His work addresses technologies of relevance to developed and developing countries. He has participated in collaborative research efforts with colleagues across the United States, and in Brazil, China, Cuba, India, Italy, Jamaica, Sweden, and elsewhere. 
He currently co-leads a program on low-emission energy strategies and technologies with carbonaceous fuels for China, involving a collaboration with colleagues at Tsinghua University (Beijing). This program aims to describe least-cost energy futures for China for the long term based on carbonaceous fuels and characterized by near-zero emissions of both local air pollution and greenhouse gases and to define critical technology paths to realizing such long-term futures, including identifying key near-term enabling R&D, technologies, strategies, and policies. 
He is also involved in research efforts focusing on analysis of production and conversion systems for modernizing renewable-biomass as an energy source, including advanced gasification-based technologies for power generation (various advanced gas turbine cycles) and for production of transportation fuels. These efforts have included assessments of potential gas-turbine based biomass electricity supply and use in sugarcane industries, in pulp and paper industries, and in stand-alone electric power generation. 
Larson supervises graduate and undergraduate thesis research and occasionally teaches courses in the engineering and in the public policy schools at Princeton.


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1983 (Mechanical Engineering)
  • M.S., University of Minnesota, 1981 (Mechanical Engineering)
  • B.S., Washington University, St. Louis, 1979 (Mechanical Engineering) 

    Selected Talks

    Decarbonized Electricity and Fuels from Coal and Biomass,” Sixth Sino-US Joint Conference on Chemical Engineering, Beijing, China, 8 November 2011.

    Resource-Efficient Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels from Biomass,” Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 6 October 2011.

    Low-GHG Hydrocarbon Biofuels Using Less Biomass,” Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Roskilde, Denmark, 27 September 2011.

    “Using Biomass Efficiently to Make Hydrocarbon Fuels,” Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 15 June 2011.

    Perspectives on Energy Supply: ‘Green’ Transportation Fuels,” closing plenary, Topsøe Catalysis Forum: Catalysis in New Environmental Processes, Munkerupgaard, Denmark, 28 August 2009.

    “Commercializing New Biomass Energy Technologies,” Third Meeting of the International Sugarcane Biomass Utilization Consortium of the International Society of Sugarcane Technologists, Mauritius, 28 June – 1 July 2009.
    “Biomass-Energy Technologies: Perspectives for Brazil’s Sugarcane Industry,” presentation to the Board of Directors of the Centro de Tecnologia Canavieria, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 26 Nov 2008.
    “Co-production of synfuels and electricity from coal + biomass with zero net carbon emissions: an Illinois case study,” 9th International Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference, Washington DC, 17-18 November 2008.
    “Analysis of Fischer-Tropsch Fuels from Coal and Biomass,” Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) Business Team Meeting and Workshop, 8-9 September 2008, Washington, DC
    "Making Better Use of Biomass for Energy,” D.W. Brooks Lecture, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2 October 2007.
    Synfuels from Coal and Coal/Biomass: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Policy Implications,” Gasification Technologies Council Spring Meeting, Williamsburg, VA, 17-18 May 2007.
    Pulp Mill Integrated Gasification-Based Liquid Biofuels Production,” TAPPI International Conference on Renewable Energy, Atlanta, GA, 10-11 May 2007
    CO2 for EOR from Coal Gasification,” PetroChina-BP CCS/EOR Seminar, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (RIPED), Beijing, 24-25 April 2007.

    Selected Publications

    G. Liu, E.D. Larson, R.H. Williams, T.G. Kreutz, and X. Guo, “Making Fischer-Tropsch Fuels and Electricity from Coal and Biomass: Performance and Cost Analysis,” Energy and Fuels, 25(1): 415-437, 2011 (DOI:10.1021/ef101184e).

    Z. Zheng, E.D. Larson, Z. Li, G. Liu, and R.H. Williams, “Near-Term Mega-Scale CCS Demonstrations in China,” Energy and Environmental Science, 3(9): 1153-1169, 2010.

    G.Liu, E.D. Larson, R.H. Williams, and T.G. Kreutz, “Design/economics of low-carbon power generation from natural gas and biomass with synthetic fuels co-production,” Proceedings of the 10th International Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference, Amsterdam, 19-23 September, 2010.

    E.D. Larson, G. Fiorese, G. Liu, R.H. Williams, T.G. Kreutz, and S. Consonni, “Co-Production of Synfuels and Electricity from Coal + Biomass with Zero Net Carbon Emissions: An Illinois Case Study,” Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 3: 28-42, 2010.

    S. Consonni, R.E. Katofsky, and E.D. Larson, “A Gasification-Based Biorefinery for the Pulp and Paper Industry,” Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 87(9): 1293–1317, 2009.

    Tilman, D. Socolow, R., Foley, J., Hill, J., Larson, E., Lynd, L., Pacala, S., Reilly, J., Searchinger, T., Sommerville, C., and Williams, R., “Beneficial Biofuels – The Food, Energy, and Environment Trilemma,” Science, Vol. 325: 270-271, 17 July 2009.
    E.D. Larson, H. Jin, and F.E. Celik, “Large-Scale Gasification-Based Co-Production of Fuels and Electricity from Switchgrass,” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 3(2): 174-194, March/April 2009.
    L.R. Lynd, E. Larson, N. Greene, M. Laser, J. Sheehan, B.E. Dale, S. McLaughlin, and M. Wang, “The Role of Biomass in America's Energy Future: Framing the Analysis,” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining, 3(2): 113-123, March/April 2009.
    E.D. Larson, Biofuel Production Technologies: Status, Prospects, and Implications for Trade and Development, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, New York and Geneva, 2008.
    E.D. Larson, S. Consonni, R.E. Katofsky, K. Iisa, and W.J. Frederick, “Gasification-Based Biorefining at Kraft Pulp and Paper Mills in the United States,” Proceedings of the 2007 International Chemical Recovery Conference, Quebec City, Canada, 29 May – 1 June, 2007.
    E.D. Larson, “A Review of LCA Studies on Liquid Biofuel Systems for the Transport Sector,” Energy for Sustainable Development, X(II): 109-126, 2006.
    E.D. Larson and H. Yang, “Dimethyl ether (DME) from coal as a household cooking fuel in China,” Energy for Sustainable Development, VIII(3): 115-126, September 2004.
    E.D. Larson and T. Ren, “Synthetic Fuels Production by Indirect Coal Liquefaction,” Energy for Sustainable Development, VII(4): 79-102, December 2003 .
    E.D. Larson, Z. Wu, P. DeLaquil, W. Chen, and P. Gao, “Future Implications of China’s Energy-Technology Choices,” Energy Policy, 31(12): 1149-1204, 2003.